Congressmen this week wrote harsh words to Northrop Grumman CEO Wesley Bush over problems and cost overruns at the James Webb Space Telescope at Redondo Beach [Wednesday, September 29, 2012] It was announced Wednesday that the telescope would exceed the $ 8.8 million price ceiling was set up by Congress in 2011 and will take another two years. The total price will be $ 9.7 billion and the start date will be 2021.
When the first telescope hit the market in 1996, the revolutionary telescope was billed as the successor to Hubble Space. It is expected that a telescope 13.5 billion light-years away will cost about $ 1 billion cost and can be started by 2007.
"Who will be held accountable?" MEP Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) Committee on Home, Space and Technology
Bush appeared in a two-part hearing on Thursday in front of the committee, which included NASA Administrator Jim Briddentine and Tom Young, a former Lockheed Martin Managers, included an independent review board in the James Webb program.
This report found that largely human errors led to cost overruns and delays in planning. Errors included the use of the wrong solvent on the drive valves, faulty wiring and solar shading fixtures that broke loose and spread 70 bolts between the telescopes, some of which were still trying to locate.
These Errors Misunderstood $ 1.5 and $ 600 (19659002) Other fundamental issues highlighted in the report out of 37 remedied actions included systemic design issues, lack of experience in areas such as sunscreen, over-optimism, and overall complexity system.
"We recognize that we have contributed to the delays of the telescope," Bush conceded to the committee. "The complexity of this first program inevitably creates opportunities for human error."
In an exchange with Chairman Smith, Bush said the company was prepared to forego all previous and future payments for the telescope until the mission was considered a success.
"We are ready to risk all the fees we have already earned and the fees we will be earning in the future due to successful activation and demonstration of the telescope in orbit," said Bush
Bush goes one step further, taking on the most recent $ 837 million cost overrun that the CEO respectfully declined.
"This would rather create a fixed price relationship with this program, which would significantly hamper and affect NASA's relationship with Northrop Grumman," Bush said. "We think that's the wrong approach."
Smith fired back.
"I think that would be justified in view of the poor record and the poor leadership Mr. Young referred to yesterday," said the chairman. "I just wish Northrop Grumman would be willing to take responsibility and show a bit more good faith for both the taxpayer and the cost overruns, but it looks like you've decided."
One of the problems, says Young, is that contractors like Northrop offer the "lowest credible costs" and because the contracts have cost overruns, there is little reason to control spending. Changes to the design of the telescope and additional features due to the new technology also increase the cost.
"The lowest, credible bidder should not be the criterion for the bid," said Young. "NASA should develop the most likely costs for the program."
At stake is nothing less than American pride with the James Webb Telescope, Bush said. With the demise of the NASA Shuttle program and the release of US space launches to commercial companies, projects such as the James Webb Telescope have the potential to dramatically improve our understanding of the universe.
"This is the largest and most complex telescope ever built," Bush said. "It will reinforce and consolidate the United States' leadership in space, and other nations are testing our will to lead in space, not just extending Hubble's borders, it's a big step forward."
After all tests in Redondo Beach Once completed, the telescope will be packed and shipped to French Guiana, where it will be launched into space by the European Space Agency with an Ariane 5 rocket.  The James Webb Space Telescope begins final assembly in Northrop after extensive testing at NASA facilities across the country. The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope will be the largest telescope and largest camera ever seen in space, and is designed, among other things, to see distant, aquatic planets at close range. It is scheduled for launch next year. Credit Northrop Grumman Corporation
As the telescope floats through space toward its destination 1 million miles from Earth, it begins to puzzle out starting with a solar panel and then the tennis court sun visor, which cools the telescope down until finally the 21- Foot exposed to primary mirror
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Orange County) was skeptical of the mission's ability to inspire young people, as Bush suggested.
"I'm sorry I can not join you in this uplifting statement that you gave today, Mr. Bush, I do not think we should look at our young people and set an example for them the budget is eight times and twice as long, "he said.
"Who handled this in your company abandoned us and the American people," Rohrabacher went on. "So you can say, will the Jim Webb telescope be worth all the money?" That's not it The question is, "Is it worth all the other projects that we could not fund in this committee because you did not pass your work?"
The tensions rose again at the end of the hearing when Bush Smith Bush was pushed to the question as a result of the recent cost overruns.
"So nobody has lost their jobs in terms of cost overruns?" Smith asked.
"I would not say that," Bush said. If we find problems with intentional behavior, we act accordingly. In the case where they make honest mistakes, we want them to learn.
Smith continued, "How many have lost their jobs because of the mistakes they mention today? "He asked.
" Regarding the Mistakes Mentioned Today, I do not remember one of them having lost her job, "Bush replied.
The two tangled themselves again on the question of Northrop's profit, the But Bush refused to respond and instead referred to the SEC's motion.
"How can a CEO not know what his company's profits last year were?" was? You say it's public information and you will not tell us today. "Said Smith," why do not you tell us? They talked about transparency and were willing to give us information. "
" I'm absolutely ready to tell you that I just want to make sure I'm doing it right, "Bush said.